With many still without power following the tropical storm Tuesday, the Southington YMCA is letting people take advantage of its showers until their hot water returns at home.
This initiative is similar to the procedures the YMCA has taken during past power outages and storms, but this time the staff was unsure if it should open because of the coronavirus pandemic. After receiving many calls asking if the showers were available, the staff decided to open the locker rooms to non-guests starting at 3 p.m. Thursday with some additional precautions.
“The YMCA is here for the community, we always have been and we always will be,” YMCA executive director Jay Jaronko said. “This is a service that we’ve provided in the past when there’s a power outage, extreme heat or extreme cold. This is something we provided during Superstorm Sandy, Winter Storm Alfred and we felt it was important to extend the invitation to the community now as well.”
Everyone must wear a mask to enter the building and will have their temperature checked by a YMCA membership representative. All non-members must sign a guest waiver and everyone, including members, must sign a covid-19 waiver. Non-members are asked to bring photo identification and to prevent additional spread of the virus.
Only the men’s and women’s locker rooms will be open for use. Anyone using the showers aged 17 or below must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
The showers will be open from 5 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. until noon on Saturday.
“The Y is here to serve the community when the community is in need,” Jaronko said. “Just because we’re in a pandemic doesn’t mean we’re going to stop figuring out ways to do that. We feel we have a pretty good system here and the members that have been coming in have been wonderful in following our rules and our staff are great at supervising behavior so this is something we felt like we could handle in a safe way.”